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Monday, January 7, 2019

Losing Ground

My last post in the year usually summarizes best lifts, things that I tried out, what worked and what didn't. Given that 2018 had exactly zero training highlights, I won't spend much time on going over that. But I did hit:

Deadlift - (fatigued) single at 525 lbs., which ties my best ever (non-fatigued) single.

My worst lift is the only lift in which I have not lost strength over the past few years.

Squat - 480 lbs. x 3 may be the best I've done this year.

I have not tried a max squat single in 2018 and I don't think I will any time soon.

Bench Press - 380 lbs. x 1

This is not great, but it's also not that far off my best bench press ever. Still looking for that magical solution to 405.

Overhead Press - military press (standing) 205 lbs. x 2, behind-the-neck (seated) 205 lbs. x 3.

These are not a priority, and my military press is but a shadow of its former self.

More recently, I bench pressed 330 lbs. for 5 reps in two separate workouts, but was too cowardly to attempt a sixth rep each time (no spotter). Did some heavy triples in the squat and deadlift, focusing more on getting a bunch of reps in. A tentative goal for now is 30 reps per big lift per workout, counting only reps above 80% of 1RM.

Some things that I tried and that worked:

  • Close-grip bench presses and incline presses,
  • Shrugs 1-2 times per week, back work more or less every training day,
  • Rest-pause sets on assistance work (minus most barbell lifts),
  • Mashing sore pecs and traps with a Back Buddy stick,
  • Band pull-aparts.
What didn't work:
  • Bench press against bands (great exercise, but shoulders didn't like it),
  • Regular-grip pullups (will never do these again - neutral-grip all the way).
What I need to do more:
  • Hang from a pullup bar after every workout to stretch the chest/shoulders,
  • Shoulder dislocations with a rope,
  • Soft tissue work around the elbows.

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